By Danae Reid
In recent years, we’ve seen a spike in inclusivity and diversity in mainstream media. However, it seems that the beauty industry may still be lacking when it comes to practicing what they preach.
Although the internet has allowed the average consumer to remain “in the know,” as far as new products are concerned, it seems that certain demographics are ill-informed on what may be hiding in their favorite beauty products and/or skin care favorites.
Tai Ceme, a New York based makeup artist and stylist took note of the extent of such discrepancies not too long ago when working for several “clean beauty” stores. Prior to her tenure, Ceme had never heard the term “clean beauty,” but quickly put two and two together.
“My community, Black people, we’re not exposed to this at all,” she said. “I knew nothing of clean beauty and had been in the beauty industry for years… I would count sometimes and maybe would see one Black person a week walking in these stores, not including the ones that worked there.
The realization that many Black women are commonly less aware of “clean beauty” than their White counterparts, paired with her love of makeup, became the catalyst that prompted Ceme to do more research on the subject, and ultimately willed her to create new clean makeup brand, Tai-Lite.
A common struggle for brown-skinned makeup lovers is lack of diversity in foundation shades and/or a lack of lipsticks/eyeshadows/etc. that compliment darker skin tones. And it becomes that much more difficult if your interests skew from the “norm.”
Ceme, who is cloaked in the most beautiful deep brown skin herself, is a prime example of this. Her initial goal was to create something vibrant and suitable for her personal everyday use, but God said, “Bigger.”
“I couldn’t really find anything to match my skin and then one day I decided to look up what it was made out of so that I could just buy what makeup is made of and make it myself,” she said. “That’s how I came to make my own highlighter.”
It took a little convincing from friends, and some mental and spiritual preparation as well, but in 2019, Ceme officially unveiled her brand to the world. Tai-Lite is a hand-made clean cosmetics line that dons 6 different shades, (Red, Orange, Green, Blue, Purple, and Pink), that are apt for all skin tones.
“It’s universal in the sense that anyone can use it, but it was made for us that are on the darker side,” she said. The products are considered “multipurpose ” as they can work as a highlighter, a blush, or an eyeshadow.
Almost a year has passed since Ceme dropped Tai-Lite, and business is good. While the process of crafting the makeup can be a bit arduous, she says, making clean beauty products is important to her and that every batch is “better than the last.”
She’s constantly doing research and growing as an artist throughout the process.
“I went through intense training on clean beauty, and I just learned so much about skin care,”she said. “My mind was blown. That’s pretty much the foundation of my brand. I use that knowledge from them to formulate Tai-Lite in the cleanest, safest way.”The 24-year-old continues to work in the industry while honing her craft and growing her business. She’s done makeup for such stars as Young M.A and Ari Lennox.
When asked what she attributes all of her success to, she noted, “I just want people to know that this is nothing but God.”
Tai-Lite cosmetics are handmade with five clean ingredients, (Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Arrowroot Powder, Rosemary Extract, and Mica). You can purchase your own Tai-Lites at: www.TaiCeme.com.